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About Apprentice

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  1. Hi @Pixies This looks like a good replacement for secondary collimation screws, mind if I ask if you already received them (use them)? I am thinking of buying this for my scope its 5" newt, so I am htinking the 30mm would suffice.
  2. I have the Astromaster 130, its my first ever scope and I got it new at around 170€. So I am guessing under 100quid is quite a good price if the optics are intact. Now to be honest, I have tried finding out whether it has a spherical or parabolic mirror, but it seems that there is no definitive answer other than some have the first, other have the latter. You would probably be better off with a Skywatcher 130P, but at the same time I really can't say how much do spherical aberrations affect my experience. Few things to look out for, most of these scopes don't have the center spot on the primary (which you will need for good collimation), I placed a mark on mine, so if it's already there it's a plus. And check which finder it has, the older models have a useles rdf, while the newer ones have a better version of it. Overall I am using my scope very much, pretty much every chance I get, I still need to get the hang of collimation, but generally I already observed some DSO, with Jupiter and Saturn (of course the Moon as well) are my primer targets every time. Don't expect knock out views, but for me it's a very decent and quite capable scope. I have tricked out mine, to include a flocked tube, motor focuser (which really helped with focusing, but I needed to produce my own mounting bracket for it), bought a filter (which helps with planets but not much else), and a decent eyepiece set (which is a must if you want to have a better experience while observing). The scope has its drawbacks, namely the focuser is not the best (but it's not the worst either) and can't be replaced easily, also the spider veins are molded, the mount itself is barely getting the job done, but you can make some mods to help with the woble (its not dramatic so not something to dispair about). These things are my number one resentments towards this scope. So if you can get 130P from SW, I would opt in for that one, but if you can get this for under 100, then it's a bargain price and you will most likely enjoy what it has to offer at this price. Eyepieces are a necessary investment if you start out with stock ones. I don't use the Barlow much, as I get decent mags with my set, and anything more than that produces a blurry image anyway. The collimation part had me turned off from astronomy, but after giving it a go I really have to say that I am hooked and looking to buy another scope (and another :D) while keeping this one as a grab and go for darker sky sessions. Hope this helps!
  3. I am also looking to purchase a MAK of this size, frankly I haven't really given Bresser any thought at all, but now it seems like a viable option. The longer focal length seems a bit high though. Does anybody have this scope?
  4. Waiting is only an option when it means waiting for a clear night, months would be like years I have a 5" newton, which doesn't gather too much light, but I am sure it will provide me some decent views and help me gain some experience before I move up to a bigger scope (the aim was 8" dob, but will probably end up getting a 10" dob) sometime next year. Until then I am modifying my astromaster (flocking the tube, got the motor focuser, adding weights, and getting the hang of collimation) and I will add the smartphone adapter on the rings, and try to use an app to help me find some DSOs. I saw a couple of youtube videos which gave me the idea. I know it's not a 100% solution, but getting me close will help for sure.
  5. Currently the stock finder from Celestron, its the red dot finder. Good to pinpoint on a star or planet, but not really useful for other purposes.
  6. I will definitely upgrade to Plus version then I am actually going to use it as a "push to" on my scope, or at least I intended using the Skeye app, which has a feature to align. I am hoping it will help me get started, since I am having trouble star hopping in my Bortle 6 (or worse) skies.
  7. Hmm, I am looking at Skysafari and there is no "observe" section, and I can't find the scope part as well. Is it possible that because it's a free version of the app?
  8. Hello, so far I only use the red dot finder, which came with the scope. It's useful for pinpointing in the eyepiece, but doesn't help much in finding stuff. Heard that a Telrad would be of tremendous help, so I might purchase one soon.
  9. Thank you all for your suggestions, as a total novice in the field I am struggling to find a good DSO which I can actually observe in my scope. I have tried finding the M13, but the other night, had a 2 hour clear window, and the some clouds to spoil the view, but no luck. I will have to study star hopping, as I tried to find it from Vega, but got lost midway Thanks @Louis D I took a look at the Caldwell catalog, and it might be more interesting for me, due to its systematic approach. I was familiar with it, but some how the Messier is thrown around so much, that it grabs ones attention easily. And @bomberbaz thanks for the tip, this filter is quite affordable, hope it does the trick. I bought the Baader Neodyimum, since I understood it is one of the more used all rounders by many amateur astronomers, and was really weighing between a good nebulae filter. This will most likely be in my next purchase. Do you have any experience in stacking filters, I heard some doing it, but I am guessing the filter needs to have a thread on both sides, which judging by the images this one doesn't (and neither does the Baader). If that would be possible, it would be interesting to see what would be the result. Clear skies to you all (since I picked up astronomy, we had the worst May and beginning of June since I can remember, so hoping for a first real clear night of observing for me)
  10. So an update, I marked the mirror, cleaned the tube interior while at it, blew the dust off and finally got the motor. Unfortunately the bracket doesn't fit on the focuser, so I tried some DIY methods, and apparently the gear track on the focuser tube got damaged, so now I am left with a bogus focuser with really bad focusing movement and no motor installed. Will see what I will do next. But for this scope, this motor doesn't fit out of the box, if you have a different bracket it might work, but I suggest you save your money on this purchase..
  11. Thanks, the worst part of it all is that tonight is the first truly clear night in weeks, and I will not be able to play hope that the weather sticks for a few nights.
  12. Thanks for the advice. I chose not to clean it, successfully marked the center spot (within a millimeter or two ) Tomorrow I'll be strapping on the focus motor, and off we go
  13. And here is the primary, its really hard to show the scratch as its so subtle and thin, length around 1cm. There are more of these spots which I marked here. But also don't show well on the photo. Really makes me want to just smudge it off with a fiber cloth
  14. I tried taking a photo, but its hard to focus.. I guess its not that big of a deal. But are these spots (drop residue) on the secondary problematic? This is the photo of the secondary through the focuser, i marked the stains, there are more but don't show on the image well. I guess they aren't that big.
  15. I apologize for having a second thread similar to the one I already created. I have a specific question regarding the mirrors. I have just received some gear for modifying my Newtonian. And I would like to center spot the mirror. I have taken it out, and noticed that there a few stains (like mini droplets smaller than 1 mm in diameter) on both my primary and secondary mirrors. I have used the jumbo blower to blow of dust, but noticed one subtle scrath, I thought it was a lighter hair, but it seems its a scratch. Do these things matter much for observations, I really wouldn't want to clean the mirrors. I also received the Baader wonder fluid bundle today, with their cloth included. I intended only cleaning the eyepieces with it, not sure if it would be smart to clean the secondary mirror with it. Thanks in advance!
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